What Questions should I Ask When Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you’ve never hired a personal injury lawyer before, you probably have a number of questions. Should you get a referral, go online and search, or pick someone from the ads on TV?

Much like hiring an employee, you should ask questions of the attorneys you are considering. Hiring a personal injury attorney may be the biggest decision you’ll make in the case.

What questions should I ask when choosing a Personal Injury attorney?

So what do you ask an attorney to assess his or her skill, ability and suitability for your accident case? Once you get past a greeting and initial pleasantries, here are some questions to get you started interviewing attorneys.

Do You Specialize In Personal Injury Cases?

Some attorneys handle a myriad of things, including personal injury. Others do nothing but personal injury. If you have a serious personal injury claim, you want an attorney who understands the complexities of personal injury and stays on top of new developments.

How Long Have You Handled Personal Injury Cases?

The more experience the attorney has in PI cases, the better your chances of a successful settlement.

Who Will Be Handling My Case?

You may interview with a partner in the law firm, but much of the work will likely be done by non-legal staff with junior attorneys attending the hearings. It’s important to ask, and also to find out who your point of contact will be when you call.

Do You Actually Try Lawsuits In Court? How Often?

Some attorneys are ready to take a case into court; others aren’t. It’s important to know who will and who won’t. Insurance companies take this very seriously and want to know who is representing you. If you hire an attorney who takes every case as a potential court case, you’ll receive a better settlement. If your attorney prefers to settle rather than go to court, you won’t receive as much.

Please Explain Your Contingency Fee Arrangement

Many attorneys will offer this, and you’ll owe a fee “contingent” upon winning the case. However, there are other expenses in a case besides an attorney’s fee. Filing fees, court costs, medical reports, expert witnesses and other costs involved in preparing your case may be billed directly to you while the case is ongoing. Other law offices may take them out of your settlement in addition to the attorney’s fees. These charges will happen win or lose. It’s important to ask so that you are not surprised with bills while you’re trying to recover from an accident.

Do Your Own Research Too

One of the best ways to research an attorney is one of the three online websites:

All three are peer-reviewed directories that will give you additional insight into an attorney you are interviewing or plan to hire.

Accident information website Enjuris offers a free PDF and additional information on interviewing and hiring a personal injury attorney.

Should you have a question about an attorney’s disciplinary history, the West Virginia State Bar also has a website.

Take Precautions Against Chasers

You may receive solicitation letters from attorneys offering to represent you immediately after your accident. They may be of the high turnover variety that will get you a “quick check” but not negotiate for your needs. If you decide to talk to one of them, always commit to due diligence before signing anything.

The Love Law Firm Is Ready To Help

Do you need a personal injury lawyer, but aren’t sure what to expect? Call The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys. We’ll discuss your case with you, explain your options and what to expect in a personal injury settlement. We can offer you a free consultation, and a contingency fee arrangement to make it easier for you to afford a strong legal representation. There’s no fee if we don’t win your case.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics In Charleston, WV

In January of this year, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a motor vehicle and Dunbar.  The accident happened on Roxalana road, and then person was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that fatal accidents in the state of West Virginia outnumber accidents every other state. And the Post And Courier cites Charleston as one of the most dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists in the state. From 2011 to 2015, there were 26 pedestrians and bicyclists killed or severely injured in vehicular accidents.  Kanawha County leads the state in pedestrian accidents; Cabell County is second.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics In Charleston, WV

Pedestrian deaths have increased 16% since 2007, according to a study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. West Virginia’s rate is 1.56 per 100,000 (as of 2016.)  The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics show a 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities nationwide from 2015 to 2016.

Non-automotive travelers are at a higher risk for injuries even from the most minor of accidents. Most roads are designed strictly for automotive traffic and don’t allow for pedestrians. People who walk and bike to work (or bus stops) find themselves at greater risk for injuries by drivers who are speeding or not paying attention.

Changes For Charleston Pedestrians

The City of Charleston has recently implemented new urban plans, including the People Pedal Plan, aimed at increased pedestrian and bicycle safety for residents.

Previously, The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester City Of Governments’  2017 Walk and Bike Plan has already established specific infrastructure upgrades for the area, which includes 117 miles of new sidewalks for pedestrians and 55 miles of new bicycle lanes.

While these improvements will take time, pedestrians will, in the future, have more road space to walk safely.

Take Precautions

Morning and afternoon rush hours are the most dangerous periods for pedestrian accidents, with accidents commonly between 5 pm and 7 pm. As a pedestrian, you have an increased duty of care to protect yourself.

Of course, paying attention is paramount. Smartphones are one of the biggest distractions for both drivers and pedestrians. Putting them out of reach and ignoring them while walking is important to keeping your attention on your surroundings.

If you’re listening to music or a podcast, use only one earbud at a normal volume to be able to hear traffic.

Cross at designated crosswalk areas. About 82% of pedestrian accidents occur away from intersections and crosswalks.

When crossing a street, look left, look right, and then left again. Vehicles travel fast, and you’ll see it if you look left again.

Do not assume a car will stop—many drivers are also distracted, and won’t see you.

Avoid alcohol if you need to walk home—especially after dark.

If you must walk after dark, wear brightly colored clothing to be seen.

The Help You Need Now

We stand ready to protect your interests and help you get back on your feet after an accident. We’ll examine all the facts in the case, the police report, and advise you on how to proceed.

You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain & suffering

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact us at The Love Law Firm, or call us at (304) 344 5683. Your consultation is free, and we only collect if we win your case.